Sweden’s Duplantis soars 6.17m to break pole vault world record

first_imgTopics : His father Greg, who is his coach, was a talented US pole vaulter.His mother, Helena, is a former heptathlete and volleyball player in Sweden.After celebrating his victory, Duplantis, whose given name is Armand, went to the edge of the stands and embraced his mother. He broke the record on his sixth jump of the competition, having narrowly failed to clear the same height in Dusseldorf on Tuesday when he brushed the bar on his way down.Duplantis had the runway all to himself for much of the evening as none of the other six competitors could vault higher than 5.52m.The wunderkind in the pole vault who began setting age group records at age seven opened his day at 5.52m, then cleared 5.72, 5.92 and a indoor lifetime best 6.01 without a miss.Although born in the US state of Louisiana, he chose to represent his mother’s native country of Sweden.center_img World silver medalist Mondo Duplantis realized a lifetime dream when he broke the pole vault world record on Saturday by soaring 6.17 meters on his second attempt at a World Athletics Indoor Tour meeting in Torun in Poland.American-born Swede Duplantis broke Frenchman Renaud Lavillenie’s record of 6.16m set in February 2014 in Donetsk, Ukraine.”It’s something that I wanted since I was three years old,” said the 20-year-old. “It’s a big year, but it’s a good way to start it.”last_img read more

PREMIUMGoogle Cloud to open first data center in Indonesia in coming months

first_imgTopics : Facebook Forgot Password ? Linkedin Google Indonesia Google-Cloud data-center Jakarta-Bandung Bliblicom alfamart boston-consulting-group survey Log in with your social account Tech giant Google is looking to open its first data center in Indonesia this year to enable the company to take the advantage of the growing demand for cloud computing services in the country, one of company’s senior executives has said.Google Cloud Indonesia country director Megawaty Khie said in Jakarta on Wednesday that, with the establishment of the data center, the company would be able to provide a reliable cloud infrastructure for its local customers.“This year, in the next couple of months, we will launch a regional Google Cloud in Jakarta,” Megawaty said during a press briefing.Read also: Amazon Web Services to build data centers in Jakarta: MinisterShe said that Google first announced the plan to open Google Cloud in Indonesia two years ago at its Cloud Summit in Jakarta in 2018. The tech giant made another announcement in April 2019 during the… LOG INDon’t have an account? Register herelast_img read more

Pacific nations employ island fortress tactics to combat coronavirus spread

first_imgPacific islands are imposing strict lockdown measures to combat the coronavirus, denying access to supply vessels and prohibiting human-to-human contact during aircraft refueling, amid fears their small healthcare systems could be over-run.The region recorded its first case of coronavirus this week, in French Polynesia, although most island nations cannot screen for Covid-19 cases onshore which is potentially masking its spread.One of the wealthiest Pacific nations, Fiji, this week opened its first facility capable of testing for the coronavirus, one of only four such facilities in the region, Radio New Zealand reported. Topics : Brad Ives, senior captain on the supply vessel Kwai, said the sailing ship was loaded with supplies for five populated coral atolls in the northern Cook Islands, in the South Pacific, when it received word it would be refused entry.”Fortunately, we got notice that they were going to refuse the ship before we departed our last port,” Ives told Reuters.”There’s cargo on it that will expire. It’s a bit of a problem for us that we are solving as we go.”Kwai is now in the Line Islands reorganizing its route.center_img While all Pacific nations have introduced wide-spread restrictions on international travellers over the past several weeks, some are now completely isolating their island populations.The United States-backed Marshall Islands this week suspended all incoming air travel, while those on aircraft landing to refuel are being restricted from human-to-human contact.Cruise ships have been denied port calls in New Caledonia, Tonga, Cook Islands and Samoa, among others, over the past fortnight, as local authorities tighten controls.The World Health Organization said in a statement it was supplying Samoa, which is still recovering from a deadly measles epidemic, with infrared thermometers to assist with screening at ports of entry and healthcare facilities to combat coronavirus.The island of Pukapuka, a tiny coral atoll in the Cook Islands with a population of 500, has been left short of foods like sugar, flour and rice after turning away the Kwai supply vessel.Island residents understand that coronavirus infection could be catastrophic due to a lack of medical facilities, said Pukapukan community member Kirianu Nio, who now lives on the more heavily populated island of Rarotonga.”They are short in processed foods which are the main supplies they normally order in bulk – but that’s a small price to pay,” said Nio. last_img read more

South Korea coronavirus cases rise steadily

first_imgSouth Korea announced on Sunday that all overseas arrivals will have to undergo two weeks of mandatory quarantine starting on April 1.Moon is expected to announce details of support for households later on Monday. He has already doubled a planned rescue package for companies to 100 trillion won ($81.6 billion).Topics : South Korea reported 78 new coronavirus cases on Monday, keeping the rate of infections fairly steady, as President Moon Jae-in held an emergency meeting with economic policymakers to discuss financial support for the public.The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said the national tally stood at 9,661, while the death toll rose by 6 to 158. It added that 195 more people had recovered from the virus for a total of 5,228.The daily number of new infections in South Korea has been hovering around 100 or less for the past three weeks, but authorities have tightened border checks as small outbreaks continued to emerge and the number of imported cases rose. At least 13 of the latest cases were overseas travellers, KCDC data showed.last_img read more

Indonesia to start using TB testing kits for COVID-19 this week

first_imgHe said the use of TB test kits could shorten the time it takes to carry samples from the hospitals to laboratories, adding that the test used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method that was more accurate than the rapid testing.The decision came after the Indonesian Society of Respirology (PDPI) said the government could use TB test kits by modifying the cartridges. The modified cartridges were designed by American molecular diagnostics company Cepheid, which also produces expert TBM/RIF machines used to test for TB.The technology also recently received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approving its use to detect COVID-19 in the US.The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease that endorses COVID-19 testing with the TB kits said the technology could accelerate the detection of the disease in low- and middle-income countries, returning results as quickly as in 45 minutes.In the press conference, Yurianto also said the country had recorded 1,677 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday with 157 fatalities and 103 recoveries. Cases have now been found in 32 of 34 Indonesian provinces.He also said the government had distributed around 475,200 rapid test kits to every provincial health office for early detection and contact tracing, adding that it also had distributed 349,000 pieces of personal protective equipment for medical workers across the country.Topics : As the number of coronavirus cases and deaths rises in Indonesia, the government says it will use modified diagnostics test kits for tuberculosis available at more than 132 hospitals and public health centers for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) by the end of the week.The government’s spokesperson for COVID-19-related matters, Achmad Yurianto, said on Wednesday that the government would start ordering cartridges for the rapid molecular test equipment that could detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, whereas previously the equipment was only outfitted with cartridges to detect tuberculosis bacteria.“These changes will certainly not be easy, because it requires changes to the machines’ settings in addition to training the human resources and preparing the cartridges. But we are optimistic that it can be done starting this week,” Yurianto said at a press conference on Wednesday, adding that test runs may already be conducted that day.last_img read more

New coronavirus cases doubles to 99 in mainland China

first_imgMainland China reported 99 new coronavirus infections on April 11, more than doubling from the previous day to reach a one-month high, as the number of single-day imported cases hit a record, official data released on Sunday showed.In addition, highlighting another major source of risk, newly reported asymptomatic coronavirus cases nearly doubled to 63 on April 11, from 34 the previous day, according to China’s National Health Commission (NHC).Almost all the new infections – the biggest daily count since March 6 – involve travelers from overseas. Just two out of the 99 cases were locally transmitted. Shanghai, China’s commercial hub, contribute to more than half of the imported cases. The city reported 52 new coronavirus cases on April 11, all involving Chinese nationals traveling from overseas, the municipal health commission said on Sunday.Of Shanghai’s new cases, 51 flew in on the same flight from Russia on April 10. The 52nd case involves a Chinese national arriving in Shanghai from a trip to Canada.China’s northeastern province of Heilongjiang reported 21 new imported cases on April 11, all involving Chinese nationals traveling from Russia.The country’s tally of infections now stands at 82,052, while the death toll stands at 3,339.Topics :last_img read more

COVID-19: Volunteers build crowdsourced databases to capture true scale of outbreak

first_imgThe COVID-19 outbreak has prompted members of the public to launch their own crowdsourced databases on the spread of the virus in their respective communities in a bid to shed some light on cases that have otherwise slipped under the government’s radar.  One such database, LaporCovid-19, allows people to submit reports regarding the latest coronavirus-related updates in their immediate vicinity. Users provide information by responding to a digital questionnaire via the platform’s official WhatsApp or Telegram group.Information collected through the social media channels is then compiled into a visual database that illustrates the scale of the contagion in a certain region, which can be accessed at laporcovid19.org. “We’re racing against the virus,” he said. “Data is a very important asset.”As of April 16, LaporCovid-19 had received 2,185 reports from WhatsApp and Telegram.Read also: With limited testing capability, Indonesia may battle COVID-19 blindfoldedMeanwhile, medical practitioners affiliated with the Indonesian Healthtech Association have launched stopcov.id – a digital platform that seeks to provide up-to-date data on medical diagnoses and the number of health supplies amid the surge in COVID-19 patients, among other things.According to stopcov.id founder Gregorius Bimantoro, the platform sourced its information from field reports submitted by health workers, hospital managers and medical equipment providers through a number of online health apps.He added that the platform also verified and analyzed the data it had collected to eliminate any discrepancies.“We aim to facilitate health workers, policy makers and the general public in their fight against COVID-19. We compile various data on a single platform, stopcovid.id, so those who seek the most accurate information can quickly obtain it,” Gregorius said.He said the platform also provided supplies of protective equipment and other medical equipment to designated COVID-19 referral centers across the country. Furthermore, the platform also cross-referenced COVID-19 patient data from a number of hospitals and clinics to capture the magnitude of the current health crisis, he added.The government was previously criticized for its apparent refusal to provide the latest and most accurate information regarding the outbreak, giving rise to community movements such as KawalCovid-19.Earlier this month, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo made an about-turn and called for greater transparency regarding the ongoing mitigation efforts.The government has also recently developed its own COVID-19 application, called PeduliLindungi, but there have been reports about difficulties accessing the app. According to the official government count, Indonesia has recorded 6,760 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 590 deaths as of Monday.Topics : Irma Hidayana, one of the public volunteers who initiated LaporCovid-19, said the platform was designed to give people the opportunity to pass along information regarding the latest situation in their neighborhood, which might have gone unnoticed by the government.“For example, people may provide information regarding themselves, their family members, or neighbors who died after exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms,” Irma said in a statement.She said that all information provided by the public would remain confidential. However, the platform would have access to the information to cross-reference data and eliminate errors, she added.Rajawali, another volunteer who contributed to LaporCovid-19, said he hoped the platform would be able to predict new clusters of the outbreak and save lives.last_img read more

Sick, stranded and broke: Crisis hits Gulf’s migrant workers

first_imgWhen all nine men in his dormitory caught coronavirus, 27-year-old Nurudhin was bused to a remote quarantine camp — becoming one of many migrant workers Gulf states are struggling to accommodate adequately.The oil-rich Gulf is reliant on the cheap labor of millions of foreigners — mostly from India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka — many of whom live in squalid camps far from the region’s showy skyscrapers and malls.But the spread of coronavirus, alongside shrinking oil-driven economies, has left many workers sick and countless others unemployed, unpaid and at the mercy of unscrupulous employers. ‘Worried about our brothers’ The UAE has been the most vocal among Gulf countries in demanding governments repatriate workers, many of whom have been laid off or gone unpaid as business halts and oil prices plummet.As of April 20, some 22,900 foreigners had been repatriated on 127 flights from otherwise closed airports, officials said.But India, which has 3.2 million citizens in the UAE alone, has refused to cooperate, saying that repatriating and quarantining millions of returning citizens would be a logistical and safety nightmare.Bangladesh has reluctantly agreed to take back thousands of its citizens to avoid punishment from Gulf states in the future, its Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen said.”If we don’t bring them home… they won’t recruit people from us once their situation improves,” he told AFP, adding that thousands of undocumented workers and hundreds of prisoners are being flown back, including a planeload from Saudi Arabia last week.Pakistan has allowed repatriations to proceed but warned it is hindered by the lack of testing and quarantine facilities at its airports. Its diplomats in Dubai appealed to Pakistanis not to go to the consulate, after a large number — desperate to return home — gathered to demand seats on limited special flights.”We are worried about our brothers in the Gulf. The lockdown and closure of daily business in the Gulf have rendered many overseas Pakistanis without a livelihood,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said last week.A UAE spokesman said it owed migrant workers a “debt of gratitude” and that it was providing healthcare, food and accommodation, and relaxing immigration rules for those with expiring visas.  “There is nothing in my room except a small bed. I have to share a bathroom with 20 to 30 people,” said Nurudhin, a draftsman from India who was hospitalized before being taken to a remote isolation facility for blue-collar workers in the United Arab Emirates.”There is no WiFi. Not even a television. But the situation in my room was even worse,” he said of his crowded quarters in Abu Dhabi, which proved a fertile ground for the disease.Despite strict curfews in force for weeks, the Gulf states with the biggest populations of foreign workers — Saudi, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar — are still reporting rising numbers of coronavirus cases.Riyadh says foreigners account for 70 to 80 percent of recently discovered cases. Topics :center_img To try to reduce transmission, Gulf authorities have moved workers from camps into temporary lodgings, while establishing mass screening centers and using drones in some neighborhoods to warn people against congregating. Hungry and isolated The pandemic has highlighted the problem of migrant workers living and working in conditions that leave them vulnerable to disease, said Rothna Begum, a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.Attempts by Gulf states to curb the virus were inflicting more hardship, with lockdowns that left workers short of food and water, she told AFP, adding that charities stepping in were overwhelmed.”Workers who are still required to work are being put on buses where they cannot socially distance, and sent to sites where social distancing is not being practiced or protective equipment and sanitation is not adequately provided,” she said.Millions of migrant workers face future uncertainty as the now unwanted workforce is haggled over by their governments and host countries.”I want to go back to my country… I don’t have any money and I don’t want to spend more time here,” said an Egyptian man in Kuwait City who is being held at a camp for immigration offences.Javed Paresh, a construction worker in the emirate of Sharjah, is among the tens of thousands of Pakistanis who have registered to fly home.”I have not been paid for the last six months. I just want to go home and see my family. My family will die of hunger as I am unable to send them money for many months,” he said.last_img read more

Trump reveals he is taking hydroxychloroquine

first_img“I’m taking it, hydroxychloroquine, right now, yeah. A couple of weeks ago, I started taking it,” he said.Trump has often played down the dangers of coronavirus, including last week when he said it threatened only a small number of people. He also pointedly refuses to wear a mask, despite federal recommendations to do so and the fact that most of his staff have taken to covering their faces in public.A personal valet to Trump has tested positive for the coronavirus, as has Katie Miller, Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary. ‘Reckless’ Trump said his use of the medicine was approved by the White House physician, Sean Conley. However, Trump insisted that he, not the doctor, took the first step.”I asked him, ‘what do you think?’ He said, ‘if you’d like it.’ I said ‘yeah, I’d like it.'”Conley later issued a statement saying that he had agreed to Trump using the anti-viral drug “after numerous discussions” between them about the pros and cons.”We concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risk,” Conley said in a statement issued by the White House.Trump said he has received many “positive calls” from people, whom he did not identify, telling him about the malaria drug. He mentioned a letter he’d received from a New York doctor, also unidentified, who reported giving the medicine to hundreds of patients and “I haven’t lost one.”By contrast, the government’s Food and Drug Administration warns against giving hydroxychloroquine for either prevention or treatment of the coronavirus, noting reported side effects including “serious heart rhythm problems in patients with COVID-19.” Only emergency use is authorized under temporary rules.Earlier this month, a medical paper out of New York suggested that combining hydroxychloroquine with the dietary supplement zinc sulfate, which has antiviral properties, could create a more effective treatment against coronavirus.But Matthew Heinz, an Arizona doctor who served under Barack Obama’s government, said medicines like hydroxychloroquine are not “benign” and open for unregulated use.”I cannot stress enough how reckless it is to encourage anybody to take hydroxychloroquine or any other unproven remedy,” he said in a statement.Trump signaled, as he has throughout the crisis, that there was nothing to lose by trying possible treatments.”It seems to have an impact, and maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t but if it doesn’t, you’re not going to get sick or die,” Trump said. “I take a pill every day. At some point I’ll stop.”The president said again on Monday that he showed “zero symptoms.””Every couple days they want to test me, you know, for obvious reasons. I mean I am the president, so they want to test me. I don’t want to be tested but they want to test me,” he said. “I’ve shown always negative.” Asked why, he said: “Because I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories.”Trump has shown interest for weeks in promoting the use of hydroxychloroquine, even if some doctors think it does not work for coronavirus patients and US government regulators warn it has “not been shown to be safe.”Trump’s latest remarks came out of the blue, immediately grabbing headlines on a day when US deaths from COVID-19 topped 90,000 people — almost a third of the total world toll.”You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers, before you catch it. The front-line workers — many, many are taking it. I happen to be taking it,” he let slip to reporters attending a White House meeting devoted to the struggling restaurant industry. President Donald Trump on Monday made the surprising revelation that he is taking hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug that his own government experts say is not suitable for fighting the novel coronavirus.Trump, noting that he has tested negative for the virus and shows no symptoms, said he’d been taking the drug as a preventative measure “for about a week and a half.””I take a pill every day,” he said, adding that he combines this with zinc. Topics :last_img read more

American wanted by FBI entered Indonesia before Interpol’s red notice: Minister

first_img“There was no red notice when he arrived here. Our system didn’t detect it at the time,” Yasonna said on Monday. “After we received it, the immigration office and the National Police conducted a joint operation to arrest him. He could not have entered had we received the notification [sooner].”According to the ministry, Medlin arrived in the Southeast Asian country using a tourist visa on Nov. 5, 2019, three weeks before Interpol issued its red notice on Dec. 9, 2019.Read also: American fugitive arrested in Jakarta a known pedophile: Jakarta PoliceHe was nabbed in Kebayoran Baru, South Jakarta, last week — seven months since his arrival — after three teenage girls alleged he paid to have sex with them. The police also confiscated more than US$20,000 in cash from the suspect.If convicted under the 2014 law on child protection, he could face up to 15 years in prison. Police are now exploring the possibility that this case has a wider connection to child prostitution rings.Medlin is wanted by the FBI for his alleged role in defrauding cryptocurrency investors out of US$722 million using a “high-tech Ponzi scheme”.He had been convicted twice in 2006 and 2008 for crimes relating to child molestation and flagged by Interpol as a child molester, the latter of which saw him serve two years in prison for the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl and possession of child pornography.Topics : The Indonesian government said Monday that Russ Albert Medlin, an American fugitive recently arrested in Jakarta, had entered the archipelago before Interpol issued a red notice for the bitcoin scammer and convicted pedophile.Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly said in a hearing with House of Representatives Commission III overseeing legal affairs that the government received the notification three weeks after the man wanted by the FBI entered Indonesia.last_img read more